Tips On Tile Countertops In The Kitchen

Tips on tile countertops in the kitchen. There are a variety of different types of tile you can use in a kitchen. However, not much tile is used on countertops because the grout will stain. Offering tips...

Offering tips on tile countertops in the kitchen, Ellen Mercer, who has been a kitchen designer for eighteen years and is currently a designer at Cabinet Solutions, says, "There is not too much tile used for kitchen countertops. One of the reasons for this is because people do not like the grout. They don't like having to keep the grout clean. So, honestly we just don't do the tile tops. They are not just very common anymore."

If you do like the look of tile and want it added somewhere in your kitchen remodeling plan, Ellen goes on to say, "However, we see a lot of tile on the backsplash. The backsplash is the area on the wall behind the countertop. You still are going to have some splattering, but it is much less than on a countertop." Some new trends she has been seeing in the use of it include, "Tile installed vertically on the wall versus horizontally. Right now, we are seeing a surge of glass tile. Some beautiful colors and glass tiles have become very popular. Glass tiles, ranging from one inch to 12 inch, can form some beautiful patterns. Metal tiles are become popular as well. There are also metal tiles that make nice accents and d├ęcor inserts."

One reason a homeowner might choose to install tile, even with the added upkeep of the grout, is so they can incorporate a stone material, such as marble into their kitchen. Tiles are cheaper then a solid slab and with the right knowledge, can even be installed as a "do-it-yourself" project. But before taking on extra maintenance, it is advisable to look into what is called "Solid-Surface" material. It mimics the look of stone and is not as expensive as the real thing. Though it may cost a little more then the tiles, the time saved in the required upkeep of it might be worth the extra money.

So, even though you might like the old-fashioned "look" of a completely tiled countertop, you may decide the maintenance of it is too much. The book "Your Home: Kitchens", published in 1985 as part of a series by Time-Life Books, puts it best when it states: "Like most aspects of kitchen planning, choosing a suitable counter involves a balancing of the various requirements. The ideal counter should be handsome...and tough enough to withstand an endless succession of assaults- by water, foods, knife cuts, dropped pots, hot cookware, household chemicals and abrasive cleansers. Not surprisingly, the available materials differ in their virtues, so some compromise may be necessary."

If you insist on having a tiled countertop, one other option that is available to you is to use it as a decorative accent in the kitchen, such as on a center island. It will stand out even more by having it in the middle surrounded by complementary countertops of another, easier to maintain material. In this way, "you can have your cake and eat it too".

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